Today is summer solstice!

6 months ago I wrote about how it was winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, and summer solstice in the southern hemisphere. Today it is summer solstice in the northern hemisphere and winter solstice in the southern hemisphere 🙂

A sunset at Stone Hence (summer solstice)

Today is the longest and shortest day of the year across the world!

My article on winter solstice explained what the solstice means so I don’t really know what to write today!

Enjoy your day wherever you are – be it the longest or shortest!

Happy Easter!

Today billions of people around the world will be celebrating Easter Sunday. Around ⅓ of the world’s population is Christian, which is why so many people will today, be celebrating Easter.

But do you know the real meaning behind the festival that so many people celebrate? If you are Christian I hope this article helps give you a better understanding of the religion you follow, and if you are not, I hope you can learn something new too 🙂

Happy Easter 2011
So, to the origins!

It all started around 2000 years ago with the birth of Jesus Christ. I suspect you already know that he was executed on Good Friday, as you have probably read my post on that, so at this point around 2000 years ago, Jesus should have been dead. However, it is said that he rose from the dead, which is exactly what this day is about for Christians: celebrating the resurrection of Christ their saviour.

So what exactly happened then? Well the bible says that after Jesus was crucified on Good Friday, his body was taken down from the cross, and buried in a tomb, which was guarded by Roman Soldiers. An enormous stone was put over the entrance, to stop people from trying to steal the body.

It is then said that Mary (followed later by some of Jesus’ disciples) then visited the tomb, only to find that the stone had been moved and that his body had gone.

Jesus himself was then by Mary and the disciples later that day and for a short while afterwards by lots of people. His believed that God had raised him from the dead, this is now referred to as the Resurrection.

On Easter Day, many people celebrate by feasting and/or eating chocolate eggs (which symbolise life and rebirth) due to it being the end of Lent, and the beginning of Christ’s rebirth many years ago.

So there you have it, the Holy Week is drawing to a close, so tuck into those Easter eggs!

Today is Good Friday

The crucifixion of Jesus Christ (according to the Bible) happened today around two thousand years ago. Good Friday is a day of mourning in church for Christians.

Jesus was crucified by the Romans, because he was getting to be known by the people as the king of the Jews. The Romans disliked this.

Jesus’ last words are said to be

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit

After his death Jesus’ body was said to have been taken to a cave, where a large stone was rolled over the entrance.

Good Friday 2011

The cross is now a major symbol for Christianity, as the death of Christ on the cross, lead to the beginnings of Christianity.

Today is Vaisakhi

Today is one of the most important days in the Sikh calendar, Vaisakhi – also spelt Baisakhi.

Vaisakhi is the Sikh New Year festival.

Vaisakhi has been established as a harvest festival in the Punjab for many centuries now. It had been celebrated long before it gained an added dimension for Sikhs.

In 1699 the tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh, chose Vaisakhi as the occasion to transform the Sikhs into a family of soldier saints, known as the Khalsa Panth.

A Procession to Celebrate Vaisakhi

A Procession to Celebrate Vaisakhi - Sikh New Year

To celebrate, Sikhs often hold processions through the streets. It is a festival where people celebrate together.

If you are a Sikh, Happy New Year 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today is Saint Valentine’s Day. On the 14th of February many people across the world celebrate love in the form of Valentine’s Day.

Way back in the 4th or 5th century, the Pope named a holy day on the 14th of February to honour Saint Valentine.

So why did he do that? What was special about Saint Valentine? Well the ‘Saint’ kind of gives it away. Legend has it that Saint Valentine was a Roman who was sentenced to death for refusing to give up Christianity. Legend also speaks of a letter, which before he was killed Saint Valentine sent to his love, which was signed “From Your Valentine”.

So that’s where it’s thought to have all began.

Traditionally, Valentine’s Day was celebrated by only Christians, but now it’s celebrated by people all around the world of many different religions.

Happy Valentine's Day

Now it’s a time for showing that special someone in your life that you care about them. Many people send cards, often signed ‘From Your Valentine’ or simply ‘?’. Gifts are also often exchanged, and people generally like to show their loved one that they really appreciate them, in many different ways.

Treat your special someone today, and if you don’t have one, best of luck for next year 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day from me here at Christopher Roberts Philosophy Blog 🙂